Tips for Choosing Locks for Your Rental Properties
One of your primary responsibilities as a landlord is to provide a safe and habitable rental property to your tenants. When it comes to safety, that means providing a property that is intruder-proof.
Did you know that about 2.5 million burglaries are reported every year in the U.S? And, two-thirds of these are home invasions caused by failing or compromised security systems.
Now, door locks are an important part of a rental home, making sure the house, the tenant, and their belongings are safe.
When shopping for some for your rental property, there is a myriad of things you need to consider.
In this article, we’ll share with you proven tips on things to consider when choosing locks for your rental property.
1. Consider the cost of the lock.
The cost of a lock is something that you should keep in mind as a landlord. What you want to go for are locks that are priced in the middle range. Make sure, however, that, even at that price point, that they come from known brands.
The costs of door locks vary depending on various factors. Such factors include the nature, function, and the brand of the lock. Since there are so many factors involved, your best bet is just to ask your local locksmith for the estimate.
2. Do your due diligence.
One way of doing this is by doing a simple Google search and reading up the various reviews left by people that have actually used a particular lock. To get the best picture, read reviews from a couple of different reputable sites. Another way is talking with your local locksmith. After all, they are the ones that have to defeat these locks when picking them and they know more about locks than others.
3. Consider the lock’s endurance.
Another thing you want to consider when choosing a lock is its endurance. And the endurance is dependent upon the grade of the lock. Grade 1 locks are the strongest and are particularly suited for commercial use. They can withstand 10 million cycles of door strikes.
Grade two locks are also known as “medium-duty” and exceed typical residential requirements. These can withstand at least two blows from 60, 90, or 120 ft-lbs. But while they aren’t recommended for high use or security situations, they offer more protection than common home locks.
Then there is the third grade. These are the lowest strength locks and are usually sold as door locks in the U.S. They can withstand two blows of 75 ft-lbs.
4. Consider the lock’s aesthetics.
Finally, consider the aesthetics of the lock. Obviously, as a landlord, one of your primary goals is to make your rental property as attractive as possible. Therefore, go for a lock that perfectly matches the style, color, and/or finish of your rental home.
Nonetheless, while looks are important, don’t make them a priority over other more important factors.
5. Consider a lock that you can rekey yourself using one master key.
A lot of landlords today choose locks that they are able to rekey themselves.
Kwikset Smartkey locks, in particular, are a cost-effective solution for property managers that need to frequently change their locks. They are invulnerable to being hacked with screwdrivers, wires, or anything else inserted in the keyway.
What Are the Different Types of Door Locks?
Door lock options can be overwhelming. Before choosing the right lock for your rental property, you need to consider many different types of locks as well as several different security factors. The following are some of the more common types.
Mortise Locks: These are best for apartment doors, entry glass doors, and commercial doors.
Deadbolts: These are suitable for most entryways.
Knob locks: These are commonly installed in residential homes’ exterior door in addition to deadbolts.
Cam locks: These are best used for lower security OEM applicants, such as mailboxes, drawers, and cabinets.
Padlocks: These are best used for general purpose applications providing a broad range of applications.
How to Choose the Best Locksmith?
Locksmiths are professional technicians specialized in lock installation and repair. When looking to hire one, you need to do your due diligence first as hiring the wrong one can make matters worse.
The following are some of the questions you can ask them when interviewing them for the job. Please note that they are in no particular order.
Question #1: Do you install high-security locks?
You want to hire someone that has the right qualifications and is able to install high-security locks.
Question #2: Can you help in a lockout situation?
This is a stressful situation and one that is often too common in the landlord business.
Question #3: What are your rates?
An honest locksmith will never charge you higher than the average price on the market. According to Improvenet.com, the average cost to hire a locksmith in the U.S. is $181. Keep in mind this is the average cost and your local locksmith might charge you more or less than that.
Question #4: Do you offer 24-hour locksmith services?
This is very important to know. Find out whether the locksmith will be available anytime you require them. Expect, however, the costs to be higher for emergency services.
Question #5: Are you affiliated with any trade organization?
Not every person that wears a uniform is a locksmith. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence when hiring one.
In the state of Colorado, locksmiths aren’t regulated or licensed by the state, and there is no criteria or qualifications for calling yourself a “locksmith”.
That said, it may be a good idea to hire a locksmith that belongs to one of the few professional membership groups, such as the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).
There you have it. Everything you need to know when choosing locks for your rental properties. Remember, keeping your tenants safe is one of your most important concerns. Essentially, it can make or break your rental investment.
About this Guest Contributor:
OnSite Property Management Services was founded in 1998 by Drew and Cindy Williamson on a vision of providing quality association management service to the community. In 2004, their son Ryan joined the family business and in 2012 he bought it from them. Since then and with the help of an exceptional staff, Onsite continues to bring on new associations, residential rentals, and commercial properties monthly. Ryan views every challenge as an opportunity to learn and further educate himself, along with his staff, so they can continue to improve as a company.